Poly Tipped vs VLD bullets for Varminting out to 800 yards

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by wildcat, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. wildcat

    wildcat Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Before I get started I want to say, I know the VLD bullets have much higher BC's and are better for shooting in bad conditions at longer ranges. I also know they kill really well too, so please don't get worked up over this issue when you read this.

    I am wondering what type of bullets you use for varminting from 50 to 800 yards.

    For this discussion, are range will be 800 yards max. All of my varmint hunting buddies all use poly tipped bullets, V-Max and Ballistic Tips, for varminting out to 800 yards. The main reason for using the V-Max and Ballistic Tip bullets over the VLD type, kill power and splat effect.

    They, like myself, used VLD type bullets for varminting for all ranges. However, we realized these bullets were not good for anchoring varmints. They too experienced the same thing I encountered with these bullets at ranges from 50 to 800 yards. The VLD bullets would punch right through the varmint and it would crawl back in to it's hole. This happened on many occassions, so we all agreed it was better to use the V-Max and Ballistic Tip bullets for shooting varmints at ranges from 50 to 800 yards and give up some BC for kill power.

    Now I am not saying the VLD type bullets do not kill at the ranges I have discussed. I am just saying they do not perform as well as the poly tipped bullets at the above mentioned ranges.

    Now, if we are going to shoot past 800 yards, we all have set ups for using the VLD type bullets. However, we rarely get to shoot past 800 yards. Most of our long range varmining takes place between 400 to 600 yards and the wind really never gets bad, so a really high BC bullet is not neccessary. Even when we go shooting in areas where the wind is bad, we will still use the V-Max and BT bullets out to 800 yards with great results.

    I myself have excellent luck with the V-Max and Ballistic Tip bullets out to ranges of 1000 yards, however, 800 yards seem to be the range were these bullets begin to lose their steam and effectivness.

    My buddies, and I use the following rifles and bullets for varminting from 50 to 800 yards;
    1. Remington 700 VLS, 223, 40grn V-Max.
    2. Ruger M77/Target 204, 32grn BT bullet.
    3. Custom 220 Swift, 50grn BT.
    4. Remington 700 VLS, 243, 70grn BT.
    5. Custom 6mmAI, 75grn V-Max.
    6. Custom 6x284, 87grn V-Max.
    7. Custom 308 Winchester, 110grn V-Max.
    8. Custom 30-06, 125grn BT.
    9. Custom 300 Varminter, 125grn BT.

    All rifles, even the factory rifles, have been fitted with slow twist barrels for the best results with the light poly tipped bullets.

    Remeber, I would like to hear from varmint hunters and what type of bullets they perfere to use at the ranges mentioned.

  2. Patriot44

    Patriot44 Well-Known Member

    Oct 5, 2007

    I use V-Max and Ballistic Tip bullets for my varminting. I was using SMK's for a while, however, I switched over to the V-Max and BT bullets for shots out to around 700 yards. I had the same problem, the VLD bullets would put a pencil hole in the little guys and they sometimes would get away. However, at the longer ranges the VLD bullets expand better when they are going slower. I have also started to use the A-Max bullets for varminting. They seem to have excellent BC and have decent killing power combind. Also, the V-Max and BT bullets provide the splat factor that I love.


  3. wapiti13

    wapiti13 Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2004
    Bullet preference

    I use the Hornady, Nosler or Sierra tipped bullets at all the ranges you refer to. They open well and do tremendous damage when connecting with squirrels and chucks. Since I use a 223 mostly, you are at or past my max range for caliber, but I like the accuracy and ease of the 223 for the area I hunt.
  4. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    There is a very simple solution to this problem (BC vs Splat). Use Hornady A-Max bullets. They have higher BC's than most varmint/hunting bullets, shoot to match bullet standards, and expand on small critters at extended ranges.

    I used the 140gr A-Max in my 6.5x284 and the 75gr A-Max in my 22-243AI. Both shoot very small groups and have killed PA groundhogs out to 1,000yds. Varmints do not crawl away from these bullets.
  5. HoytemanPA

    HoytemanPA Well-Known Member

    Dec 16, 2001
    My experience duplicates yours and I have had chucks make it to the hole with 220MK/300Wby, and 240MK/30-378. Distances 7-1200. The 210 Bergers anchor a little better than the SMK, in the Wby, but I still lost a couple with them as well.

    I have had much better luck and aerial/splat performance with a 7wsm and 162 Amaxes at all distances. Actually threw a couple into the air at 750+, and exploded ones' head just past 1000.

    I had better luck/splat/heap effect with my 30-378 on chucks with 200gr Accubonds than I have with the 240SMK. But my current barrel doesn't like the Accubonds much. I plan on working up some loads this summer with 180 Btips as personally I'd rather lose the BC, perhaps miss due to wind, but when I do hit, leave them in a heap, than have a higher hit ratio and let them get to the hole. Regardless of range.

    Add 115gr Btips to your list of preferred go-to bullets for hogs if you all ever use quarter bores. I have had very good DRT rate with those in a 25-06 at ranges 400-800 mostly with a couple longer successes.

    These two don't get shot much as I prefer to leave the close ones for seed.
    But when I have used them, they worked.
    52gr SMK in 22-250 <400yd
    40Btip in 222 <200yd

  6. Varminator 911

    Varminator 911 Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2007
    How about bigger varmints

    My understanding is that both the A-max and VLD bullets work at long range on deer size game. At least if you get the shot placement right.

    How do A-max and VLDs compare on coyotes? Would the VLDs actually be better at long range on feral hogs due to better penetration than the A-max?

    I'm thinking primarily about the 7mm 162 A-max vs the 168 VLD Berger for coyote and hogs but would also wonder about these bullets on this game in calibers down to 6mm???

    Thank you!!
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2008
  7. wildcat

    wildcat Well-Known Member

    Jul 16, 2005
    Varminator911, I would use the 162grn A-Max over 168grn VLD. The A-Max will perform much better.